Learn Chinese and Teach English in China

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2017 IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award Winner | 2018 LoPair Scholarship is calling you!

The LoPair Scholarship Fund exists to help high quality applicants fulfill their dreams of living in China by providing reduced program costs. Don't miss your chance; apply now!

About

General Description:
- Live with a Chinese host family
- Tutor English and help organize activities for Chinese children
- Attend Chinese lessons at China's leading Mandarin school, Mandarin House
- Attend culture activities and plenty of social events
- Travel to your destination of choice during your last week

Entry Qualification:
- Native English speaker
- Current undergraduate
- Good academic background, top university preferred
- Child education major preferred

Cost and Program Components:
This special program will be totally funded by your Chinese host family!! Program components include:
- International airfare
- Comprehen insurance
- Arrival Orientation
- 6 lessons per week of mandarin taught in well-known Chinese language school
- Flexible cultural or social events
- LoPair local coordinator support
- Completion Certificate

Highlights
  • FREE round-trip airfare, full-board accommodation and travel insurance!
  • 6 lessons per week of mandarin taught in well-known Chinese language school

Questions & Answers

Reviews

83%
based on 17 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 8
  • Fun 7.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 17
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Jessica
8/10

A Whirlwind Experience

I have done a lot of traveling and different types of programs, etc, but never anything quite like an Au Pair. It was definitely new, challenging, rewarding, and a great learning experience. For those who don't know anything about Chinese culture, you should learn some before you come, or at least be prepared to observe it as soon as you arrive and try to adopt some of it while leaving a part of your own culture behind. This is the best way for you to get along well with your host family. Open communication is a must. Also, I think that way you will be able to have a better experience whilst living in the country.
I really enjoyed my time overall, but I did end up feeling a little exhausted at times because there were a lot of high expectations for me and I didn't have any say in choosing my own schedule. The schedule was not flexible either, so I didn't get to participate in basically any social events or do anything I had hoped to do.
I was amazed that I was actually able to learn some Chinese throughout all of this, I thought it would be too hard for me. Be prepared though, I found most Chinese won't act excited if you try speaking to them.
Be open and have a positive attitude and you will have a great experience.

How can this program be improved?
Have more chances to meet other au pairs and attend social events. I couldn't change my schedule, but I think the host family would have understood and allowed me to go do things if the LoPair company actually had more contact with the families.
There was a lot of confusion between what I should tell Mandarin House and what should be specifically said to the LoPair Company.
Also, the arrival was very confusing, I didn't have much help actually getting to a station where I could meet my host family was something I had to do entirely on my own.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Cicely
8/10

8 weeks in shenzhen

This was an amazing experience that gave me the opprutunity to learn so much about Chinese culture and the country. The people from the company were really lovely and always helped quickly whenever I had a problem- they also give you loads of advice before you go so you feel prepared. I loved the mandarin classes, they became really useful for going around on your own. The only drawback was that the social scene in shenzhen isn’t great.

How can this program be improved?
Since the social scene in shenzhen isn’t very good I felt that the company could have arranged more activities for the au pairs to do during their time off
Yes, I recommend this program
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Oscar
6/10

Good program but not enough time to experience China

Pros: Nice Family with great accommodation, very attentive and helpful staff who coordinate the visit, efficiently run and I never felt as if I was without help or direction.

Cons: Insufficient guidance for teaching, too much time spent with host family which results in a very limited experiences of China, surrounded by too much English so rare of mandarin progress is not at all what I had expected, teaching philosophy in China different to that in most European countries that often work with the children feels unrewarding or even counter productive; its hard to get enthusiastic about your job when you belive you are being asked to do the wrong thing.

Overall: An enjoyable experience but not what I had expected. I wasn’t able to teach in the way I wanted to and that marred the experience. The most enjoyable aspects are invariably those spent away from the family and the program. I would recommend it to a friend but not without fair warning.

How can this program be improved?
Parents should realise when employing a western au pair that they should expect a western approach to learning. Additionally, time away from the family experiencing more cultural variety should be encouraged in this “cultural exchange”.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Laura
9/10

Educare program

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this program! I feel very grateful that I was given the opportunity to travel to China and learn Chinese all for free. My host family was welcoming, friendly and so kind. They went out of their way to make me feel at home and were constantly concerned that I might be homesick or not comfortable (but I never was!). I was very lucky because I enjoyed a lot of free time. I would only have to teach my host child, Vicky (12 years-old), for around 2 hours a day and the rest of the day we would often go out and explore Beijing together. (However, I would like to point out that I was really lucky, I know that some of my friends had to work 5+ hours a day). I also had one and a half days off a week where I could meet up with my friends. My favourite thing about the program was the Chinese lessons. I had an amazing teacher who made the lessons fun and relaxed, I also made great friends with the other au pairs in these classes. I would really recommend this program as I have learnt so much about Chinese culture, but also going to a new country on your own really pushes you out of your comfort zone, making you a more confident and able person! My advice to future au pairs would be to speak up if you have any problems. Don't feel embarrassed or like a burden if you feel homesick or uncomfortable. There is a team of Lo Pair staff who you can talk to and it's their job to support you! If you have any problems with the host family they may be able to advice you on what to do or explain why they be doing something, after all it could simply be a culture clash. Also, I would advice you to be open and communicative with your host family. For example, towards the end of the program my host child, Vicky, began to completely ignore me and didn't want to study with me. This was really shocking and I questioned if I had done something wrong. However, when I spoke to her parents about it they revealed that she was jealous of me and it was nothing to do with anything that I had done. If I hadn't have been open with them about how I felt I would never have known that!

How can this program be improved?
I only got to take part in one cultural activity whilst I was there, so I would recommend that the Lo Pair representatives organise more activities to give au pairs the opportunity to meet more people outside of their classes.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Georgina
8/10

6 weeks in China!!

I took part in the Lopair summer program and it was a great six weeks, where I was able to discover the wonders of China. The Lopair team where great helping with any problems anyone may have in the country. My advice for anyone interested in this program, is that you should go for it! However educate yourself on the cultural differences before you go, and on arrival put in a good plan with the family.

How can this program be improved?
Lopair planned some great trips and cultural experiences, however it would be better if this was done on set dates that everyone had off. Also I feel like all documents concerning the visa and insurance should be sent earlier in a clearer way.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Bryony
8/10

Beijing Au Pair

This experience was really an incredible opportunity. I lived with a Beijing family with friendly kids who were keen to teach me lots about the culture. My family also took me on holiday with them around China. I’ve learned so much over 6 weeks and eaten things I never knew you could eat! I would recommend participants to definitely choose their host family carefully, and not just go with their first family if they have doubts about being happy.

How can this program be improved?
Support for au pairs with difficulties (thankfully not me) was not very good. The agency was also very last minute with booking flights and sending visa documents, which is stressful when you are travelling to the other side of the world. On the whole, the agency is much more focussed on what the (paying) host families want than helping the au pairs with their issues.
Yes, I recommend this program
Demi
7/10

Good experience but needs improvement

I lived with a family in Beijing who had a little 4 year old girl. My family were brilliant - they were welcoming, down-to-earth and made an effort to take me to restaurants, concerts and cultural sites. During the week I would read English books to the child, teach her maths and help her practice piano; when this was done we would play for the rest of the day. My local coordinator was Nancy and she was really helpful in addressing any issues I had.

Twice a week I would attend Mandarin classes. The language course was one of the best parts of the experience and I highly recommend it. As well as being fun and well-taught, the language course gives you an opportunity to meet other au pairs and is a fantastic boost to your CV. I’d like to continue to learn Mandarin back at home as I enjoyed it that much.

Once a week, on my day off, I would meet up with the other au pairs and we would spend the day doing a cultural activity together, like visiting a temple or going to an art gallery. This too was one of the best parts of the trip; I made some fantastic friends and after the culture shock of living in China it’s always good to be able to talk in English and eat some Western food together! We mostly came from the same university so we had lots in common already.

How can this program be improved?
I think the main thing is that Lopair needs to be 100% clear on what the programme is so people know what to expect. The programme was originally advertised to me as a ‘free cultural exchange’ and I think this is a little misleading. First, it isn’t a ‘cultural exchange’ in the same sense as (say) a school exchange, and you don’t ‘teach English in China’ like other programmes where you go and teach English in a school as an English teacher; it is AU PAIRING, and my experience was far more based around childcare than it was around culture (the au pairs and I could only attend one cultural class since Lopair kept putting them on days we were working) or teaching English (I would read the child one English book a day and that was the extent of it). Second, it’s not exactly ‘free’, either - at least for the six-week programme, you will be working 6 days a week, 35 hours a week doing unpaid childcare. So you really do earn your keep! Before you are tempted by the promise of a ‘free’ trip, you should bear these working hours in mind and think to yourself whether your needs would be better served by working the exact same hours in a summer job you enjoy and doing China independently instead. If you absolutely love children, I’d recommend this programme since that is what the bulk of your time here will centre around; if you don’t, think carefully about how you want to spend your summer and the pros and cons of taking the programme vs visiting China independently. Once you start the programme, it is very difficult to come home if you decide you don’t like it.
No, I don't recommend this program
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William
8/10

A good experience, but needs some improvements

I was placed in Beijing this summer in a lovely host family, with Ricky (aged 6) as the only child. His English was very good, and so the teaching aspect was not too difficult in terms of planning - lots of reading, drawing (such as science, which he has a big interest in), watching English documentaries and writing.

The host family were extremely welcoming, taking me to lots of lovely restaurants, as well as trips to the theatre, theme park and the Great Wall. They were also very good with the schedule, sticking to the hours always, which I have heard is not the case for all au pairs (some other lopair summer educare participants were working up to 50 hours a week, rather than the advertised 35 hours).

The mandarin lessons were very useful, and also a great way to meet other au pairs, including those from other agencies rather than just lopair. This allowed us to meet up on Sunday’s too (most of our days off) to visit attractions. The TESOL course was also very useful for the programme, and was easy to complete whilst on the exchange itself.

I had two issues with the programme. Firstly, the host child was much less obedient than I would expect for a 6 year old - I have dealt with many 6 year olds in England before teaching reading etc., and I’ve never had them straight up refuse to do activities and throw so many tantrums. From what I have heard, this is the case for quite a few families, so I guess it is just a difference in culture - by the end of the program, I was mostly able to control these issues by finding ways around them (such as getting him to watch a science video and then draw an annotated diagram of an experiment.

Secondly, I found that the support at lopair varies hugely depending on the staff member - some were extremely useful, such as the Uk coordinator Hannah in helping with medical forms and submitting my application. When I wanted to ask about extending insurance, on the other hand, I never got a final reply with a price so had to go elsewhere - this was for the best, given I found out I hadn’t even been insured by lopair for the first couple of days! The visa process could have also been much better - luckily I had booked a slot at the London visa centre, as this has to be done weeks in advance - I only received my documents from lopair around 2 days before this slot, and if I hadn’t booked this slot and did so when I got the documents I don’t think I would have been able to make the trip.

How can this program be improved?
I think the process post-matching needs to be improved, such as visa advice and insurance. I also think that lopair could perhaps give some more training on dealing with difficult children, as the activities suggested in the webinars tend to only work a few times and then the child quickly becomes disinterested.
Yes, I recommend this program
Kalina
8/10

Great time in ShenZhen!

I spent six weeks in Shenzhen in a family with two boys (4 and 5 years old). The tuition part of the program was very challenging, as the kids are still small and learning basic things even in their own language. For anyone matching with a family with small children, my best tip is that communication with the parents is key - setting down expectations, updating on progress, and creating a structure beyond just play, for teaching them English.
Overall, I had an amazing time. I got to experience the main attractions and life in ShenZhen, as well as the opportunity to go to HuiZhou and Guangzhou with the family. They treated me very well and I was always made to feel comfortable in their home. The kids were naughty at times, but overall it was a delight to be able to work with them and experience their life.
Lopair was excellent throughout the process, and the extra Chinese classes that the program includes were very beneficial. I was in a class of only two students, so we got to learn a lot of extra vocabulary that is used on the daily, which greatly improved my communication and speaking skills in Chinese.
I would definitely recommend anyone looking for a cultural immersion opportunity to apply to this program. The terms are incredible, and the experience you can gain is very valuable. I went on this trip to get a taste of China before I have to come here to study for a full year, and I can honestly say I can't wait to come back! This is the perfect program for anyone looking to get into Chinese/exploring Chinese culture, as well as for someone who has already studied Chinese and wants a more daily-life immersion into family lifestyle and culture.

How can this program be improved?
This is not a major issue, but making sure parents, especially with small children understand the terms of days off, and that those are upheld.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jacob
9/10

My time in Bejing

I had an absolutely brilliant time in Beijing. I was placed with a lovely family with two boys, Jason and Carson (the former was 9 years old, and the latter was 7). The host mother I was placed with always made sure that I was comfortable and not being overworked and helped me hugely with my Mandarin as well as showing me around the city. We also took a short holiday with some friends of the family to visit the Shandong province. We explored Qufu before heading to Tai'an to hike up Mountain Tai and stay over night in order to watch the sun rise the next morning. Jason and Carson were a pleasure to teach and luckily already spoke very good English. It was easy to communicate with them as a result.

How can this program be improved?
More support for those with challenging families and more information about living costs etc. provided to students before the programme begins.
Yes, I recommend this program
Adèle
10/10

6 Weeks in Shenzhen

I au paired for 6 weeks during Summer 2018 in Shenzhen. My host family has two children (a boy, 11; a girl, 4) and live in a beautiful complex in the OCT district in Shenzhen. I had a really positive experience with the family, playing with the children while speaking to them in English and building up their fluency in an everyday context. Lopair were brilliant throughout the whole process. I found the application process to be quick and they were able to answer any questions I had from start to finish. Moreover they were supportive while I interviewed with families, providing advice and their own opinion. They were very efficient when booking transport to and from Shenzhen. Moreover the two days I spent in Hangzhou before starting the programme were great fun. It was super helpful to meet the team and other au pairs as it put you in contact with people that were in the same boat, people you could share tips and the occasional complaint with! While in Shenzhen I had two mornings of Mandarin class a week. I was in a class of two and this meant that we were able to fit in lots of practice and have a lot of fun too. Overall I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone interested in China, and especially if you are learning Chinese it is a fantastic opportunity to be immersed in a Chinese speaking environment and your listening and speaking skills will benefit massively. Thank you Lopair.

How can this program be improved?
Making sure the host families are crystal clear on what the au pair is going to be expecting, for example one day off a week and some time everyday to themselves to study Chinese. This is very minor and will vary from family to family. I just felt like my family weren’t 100% sure of all of the details when I arrived.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Breanna
9/10

First Time Traveler!

This has been my first time traveling anywhere outside of my country so this experience has been very new and exciting! The Lopair staff have been very accommodating and were very helpful with the process of getting ready to leave for the trip as well as upon my arrival!

I thought that learning the language would be much more difficult but since you are immersed in the culture and everyone speaks the language you pick it up quite quickly!

You get to meet a lot of new people from different countries as well as some from your own! On the day that we arrived in China, I met someone that lives in the same city as I do as well as goes to the same college and is in the same program as me! But we only met the day we got off the plane in China!

This is an amazing program and has been such a great experience! I would highly recommend this program to anyone who loves adventures and working with children!!

How can this program be improved?
Something I would have liked is if more people had the same days off. I found it a little difficult to see friends because we had different off days, and exploring China isn't as fun if you don't have a buddy to venture with!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Samuel
9/10

Summer in Shanghai

My time in China was relatively short compared to other Lopair's I met (due to another commitment), and so the main thing I'd change about the experience is that it were longer! Obviously, this is not any fault of Lopair's and I am very much grateful for having had such an opportunity. I found every one of Lopair's staff extremely welcoming and friendly, as was the case for almost every person I met in China. The program was, overall, very fair in terms of the workload-life balance, and when you eventually do become more like a sibling of the children, it doesn't feel too taxing at all. I also found the Mandarin classes absolutely excellent - the content was relevant and helpful, and my teacher (Linda) was exceptional.

Overall, I found the experience insightful, memorable, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Emma
9/10

Exciting and New

This is my first time going abroad on my own. In addition it is for 3 months, and I am about a month in already. I met some great new people and made new friends as well.

Future participants will get a unique experience and no one will have the same exact experience.

So far my favourite experience is when my friends and I went to explore a shop nearby the school. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. (Those that were there know the story)

I believe this is a great opportunity to see and experience a different language and culture. This program also offers a chance to meet new people and make lifelong friends. You also will have great stories to tell to your friends and family back home.

How can this program be improved?
I found it difficult to find the school on my first day. I arrived about 2 hours early for class and found the school within an hour with the help of a kind stranger who spoke English.

Having a Beijing coordinator or already existing students escort the new comers to the school would have been helpful. To my knowledge everyone had asked how to find the school by asking existing students or by a stranger.

By having a Beijing coordinator it would relieve a lot of the worries and stress of being late to school on your first day. Especially if you are unable to leave early from the host family's home.
Yes, I recommend this program
Emma
9/10

Exiting and New

This is my first time going abroad on my own. In addition it is for 3 months, and I am a month in already. I met some great new people and made new friends as well. Future participants will get a unique experience no one will have the same exact experience.
So far my favourite experience is when my friends and I went to explore a shop. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.
I believe this is a great opportunity to see and experience a different language and culture. This program offers a chance to meet people and make new lifelong friends.

How can this program be improved?
Having someone (Beijing coordinator) escort the aupairs to the school. Everyone got lost and we had to ask the locals until we found someone who spoke or understood English. Having our coordinator walk us there on our first day would have made it easier to find the school.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About LoPair Education

LoPair, based in Hangzhou, is proud to be the 1st Chinese au pair company that wins the Au Pair of the Year Winner Award at 2017 annual campaign run by International Au Pair Association. We place au pairs from worldwide with host families in 10+...